The first successful semester of Women and Gender Studies is in the books!

The first successful semester of Women and Gender Studies is in the books!

Naugatuck High School has offered its first ever Women and Gender Studies course and the first semester of the course is now in the books! WGSS is offered as an English elective open to all students. It is a step forward in the direction of progressive education in a generation striving for equality and inclusion.

“The importance of a course like Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies can be seen in the outcomes for students.  We take an interdisciplinary approach in this course: it’s part history, part social science, part English. We look at the various ways the intersections of sex, gender and sexuality influence our individual identities,” said Mrs. Jennifer Brennan, English teacher and WGSS teacher. 

The course covers many important topics such as feminism, gender and social constructs; it focuses on equality in all areas whether it be open discussion on personal experience or working to understand unique perspectives.

Mrs. Brennan added, “I know that these young people will carry what we’ve learned with them into the halls of NHS, into their next level of education,  into their homes, their workplaces, and their community.”

“The course really is designed to examine power and disempowerment, equality and the subtle and not so subtle challenges to it.”

Along with the nature of the course come students with a desire to be socially aware, and many empowered young people. Within the classroom students are offered a safe environment to express themselves and their opinions, ask questions, and truly learn for the betterment of society.


This would not be possible without the thoughtful work of English teacher Mrs. Jennifer Brennan, who keeps an open mind and positive learning environment that sparks healthy conversation. She is always willing to learn along with students and adapt lessons according to what sparks interests in order to elicit truly engaged and active learning. 

I also had the opportunity to discuss the course with a student upon finishing the course.

“I believe offering a class like this at NHS is a good start to making our school more politically conscious. Our school isn’t very diverse but adding classes like this to our curriculum can create an atmosphere for students to celebrate, learn, and share about our differences.”

“My biggest takeaway from the class was that women’s issues are a big part of our world, yet there is so little education about it. I never realized how blatant sexism is in our society, I always believed it to be a shadow lurking in the dark, but it’s right in front of our eyes every single day.”

“I recommend this class to everyone, not just women and other sexual minorities. It’s important to learn about discrimination in every form so we can learn from mistakes and inform others to make the school have a better environment,” said NHS junior Alexis.

Personally as somebody who also took the course I recommend it to anybody who wishes to expand their worldview on minorities and especially women and the lgbtq+ community.  It is also a class that offers a community of students who you are able to discuss your thoughts with openly and you can truly grow from the experience. Be sure to sign up next year if you are interested in the course.